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<img src=http://www.kwmu.org/pic/speakersm.gif border=0> VOTE '06: Sales tax renewal goes before all Missourians

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kwmu/local-kwmu-523306.mp3

St. Louis, MO – A question on the ballot in next Tuesday's primary election has potentially big repercussions for Missouri parks.

Voters will decide whether to reauthorize a one-tenth of one percent sales tax that funds the state's 83 parks, as well as soil and water conservation programs.

Voters are asked to renew the tax every ten years, and Department of Natural Resources director Doyle Childers says it's always passed, usually by a large margin.

Childers says he's not sure what the state would do if voters rejected the appropriation. "Obviously we would see a drastic deterioration in our parks and our soils and our efforts with clean water," Childers said, in an interivew.

"It would seriously impact our state; no question about that."

Childers says the tax generates about $82 million a year. He says that makes up about 75% of the budget for state parks and nearly the entire budget for soil and water conservation.

To hear an extended interview with Childers, click on the icon above

Election 2006 - Aug. 8 primary
BALLOT QUESTION - Amendment 1

Question Yes No

Shall Article IV, Section 47(a), (b), and (c) of the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

A) reauthorize for ten years the one-tenth percent sales/use tax for
(1) soil and water conservation; (2) state parks and historic sites; and

B) resubmit this issue to a vote every ten years or at an earlier special election?

The proposed constitutional amendment continues until 2016, but does not increase, the existing sales and use tax of one-tenth of one percent that is set to terminate in 2008.

The tax would generate approximately $82 million annually for soil and water conservation efforts and operation of the state park system.

(Simple majority needed)

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